Joseph Orlando Prewitt Diaz, PhD
Brief Biography

Joseph Orlando Prewitt Diaz (PhD-Educational Psychology-UConn & Post Doctoral in Organization and Systems Development-Gestalt Institute of Cleveland) is a practitioner scholar, recipient of the 2008 APA International Humanitarian Award. He holds three degrees (BA, BS, MA) from the University of Puerto Rico, a MS in Educational Psychology (Trinity College, Hartford, CT), and an MS in Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction (Neumann College, Aston, PA. His areas of expertise include: Identifying needs, program planning, training design and implementation, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and developing graduate and undergraduate programs in disaster risk reduction, disaster law and psychological support programs.

As a recipient of a Kellogg National Fellowship, he visited Brazil, Argentina and Mexico exploring the role of community health in improving the quality of life of the resource poor communities. A Woodrow Wilson Hispanic Fellowship resulted in the first draft of a book entitled “The Psychology of Puerto Rican Migration” (an ethnographic study). For his community services and advocacy he earned the Pennsylvania Governor’s Heritage Award in 1988, and he Governor’s Award for Voluntarism in 1998.

In his professional career he has served as a Humanitarian psychologist, university professor in the United States, Puerto Rico, Central America, and South Asia In the last twenty years he has served with the American Red Cross International Services as (1) Regional Program Coordinator for Central America, (2) Functional Advisor-Psychosocial Support for the 2004 tsunami affected countries in South Asia, (He planned, and implemented the psychosocial support response to the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka), (3) Head of Programs for India (served in multiple States), and (4) Visiting Professor and Director of the Center for Disaster Law and Policy, School of Law of the University of Puerto Rico.

Among the honors and awards, he has been recognized with the PA National Education Association Civil Rights Leadership Award in 1998. In 2001 the ARC Lifesaving Award for his life saving actions in El Salvador. The “Tiffany Award”, the highest award given to an employee by the American Red Cross, and the Special Achievement Reward in 2006.  As a result of his work in India he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Indian Red Cross Society in 2008.

He is a prolific writer with 32  books authored, co-authored or served as the lead editor, and  written or co-written over 200 referred journal articles.  During his career he written, directed and evaluated many competitive grants.  In the last ten years he has successfully managed seven (7) proposals in excess of a total of $25 million.  As part of his community service he currently advises several international program: (1)  the Expert Advisory Group on Legislative Issues in Disaster Risk Reduction (IFRC/IDRL). (2) the IFRC/PSP Expert group to develop Global Guidelines to Support volunteers in emergencies, (3) the WHO Research Priorities Advisory Group for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Humanitarian Settings, and (4) the APA Advisory Group on International Humanitarian Emergencies.